The English Civil War started as a conflict between Monarch and Parliament and ended in confusion and an experiment in dictatorship. This is story of the conflict which changed England and Britain. – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Cromwell's Failed State and the Monarchy FILE: R3307 AUTHOR: Timothy Venning PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: English Civil War, Scottish Civil War, Parliament, Stuart dynasty, Charles I, regicide, execution, New Model Army, military dictatorship, Parliamentary factions, king in waiting, Commonwealth, Lord Protector ISBN: 1-52676-421-0 PAGES: 362, 8 page b&w photo plate section IMAGE: B3307.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y39wbho4 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The English Civil War started as a conflict between Monarch and Parliament and ended in confusion and an experiment in dictatorship. This is story of the conflict which changed England and Britain. – Very Highly Recommended
The Parliamentary Army was eventually victorious, but it could be said that in its ending there was confusion and no clear plan by the victors on how to proceed. It was far from decided what would happen to King Charles I. Some would have been happy to reinstate him if he made a number of undertakings that addressed the original Parliamentary grievances and renounced the concept of the Divine Right of Kings. Some thought he should be held in prison until Parliament could agree on a way forward. The more radical elements wanted a public execution and Puritan rule by some form of Peoples Parliament. In the end, Cromwell was one of those pushing for the execution of the King and got his way because of attempted escapes by Charles from prison.
Once the King had been executed, there was a power vacuum which Cromwell filled. Although he had protested that he had no desire to be the new King, he began to rule despotically and in way that was similar to the final years of Charles I, but more autocratically. He ruled in all but name as King and he persuaded Parliament to agree that his successor would be his son Richard, creating a new dynasty in place of the Stuarts.
Cromwell was happy to rule without Parliament as the leader of one nation, claiming all of the British Isles without any form of Parliament in Scotland or Ireland. That immediately alienated Scots and Irish who might have accepted an English Head of State had they been able to maintain their own Parliaments and their own Established Religions. To this displeasure was added many English factions from all parts of the religious and political spectrum.
The result was that Cromwell only kept control for his new dynasty as he lived. On his death, his son proved to have little interest, or ability, in succeeding his father, and Charles’ son Charles was invited to return as Charles II. The experiment forced by Cromwell had been short lived and the indication of the level of hatred was provided by the mob digging up his body and placing the head on a pike for all to see.
The author has presented an interesting and convincing account of what had happened and the modest photo plate section provides some equally interesting images.